"In his spiritually stirring farewell sermon to the people he had served and loved, King Benjamin described the importance of knowing the glory of God and tasting of His love, of receiving a remission of sins, of always remembering the greatness of God, and of praying daily and standing steadfastly in the faith.1 He also promised that by doing these things, “ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God, and always retain a remission of your sins.”"Elder Bednar has quite a way with words! I loved this talk. It reminds me that we need to do what is right and be obedient so that we can have the spirit of the Lord to be with us. As we feel the comforter in our lives, we will also be blessed to know that we have a remission of our sins. What a beautiful and wonderful blessing that is.
In mortality we experience physical birth and the opportunity for spiritual rebirth. We are admonished by prophets and apostles to awake unto God, to be “born again,” by receiving in our lives the blessings made possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. With His help, we can stand spotless before God at the last day.The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit and bears witness of all truth. In the scriptures, the Holy Ghost is referred to as the Comforter, a teacher, a witness and a revelator.
Part of partaking of the blessings of the Holy Ghost involves participating in sacred ordinances. These ordinances allow the blessings and powers of heaven to flow into our individual lives. What a blessing I have found in participating and coming to know that heaven is real!
Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins “is the introductory ordinance of the gospel” of Jesus Christ and must be preceded by faith in the Savior and by sincere repentance. Baptism provides and initial cleansing of our soul from sin. It really is one of the first steps on our journey.
The baptismal covenant includes three fundamental commitments: (1) to be willing to take upon ourselves the name of Jesus Christ, (2) to always remember Him, and (3) to keep His commandments. The promised blessing for honoring this covenant is “that [we] may always have his Spirit to be with [us].”
“Baptism [by] water … must be followed by baptism of the Spirit in order to be complete.” As the Savior taught Nicodemus, “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” I think sometimes we forget the spirit part of this. Just being baptized does not lead us to conversion. It is the spirit that does that. It is the spirit that leads us home.The principles of repentance, baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost are all connected. The Savior Himself proclaimed, “Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day."
As members of the Lord’s restored Church, we are blessed both by our initial cleansing from sin associated with baptism and by the potential for an ongoing cleansing from sin made possible through the companionship and power of the Holy Ghost. It keeps happening over and over, as long as we repent, we can be forgiven. We don't just get one chance at forgiveness, we get a multitude of opportunities to change.The sacrament is the third ordinance necessary. That we might more fully keep ourselves unspotted from the world, we are commanded to go to the house of prayer and offer up our sacraments upon the Lord’s holy day. The sacramental emblems are sanctified in remembrance of Christ’s purity, of our total dependence upon His Atonement, and of our responsibility to so honor our ordinances and covenants that we can “stand spotless before [Him] at the last day.”